Missouri women's basketball game worth trip for player's family

Saturday, December 11, 2010 | 6:19 p.m. CST; updated 5:10 p.m. CST, Sunday, December 12, 2010
Joyce Mollgaard, Connie Flores, Christine Flores, Ralph Flores and Dennis Mollgaard met after the Missouri women's basketball team's victory Saturday at Mizzou Arena

COLUMBIA — There were 1,136 people at the Missouri women's basketball game Saturday. Four traveled from San Antonio to be there.

Ralph and Connie Flores flew to St. Louis on Friday night and drove to Columbia to watch their daughter, junior forward Christine Flores, play in Missouri's 72-48 victory on Saturday over Missouri-Kansas City. Dennis and Joyce Mollgaard, Christine Flores' grandparents, came to Columbia on Monday. They attended Missouri's win Tuesday over Tennessee-Martin, along with Saturday's game.

The Flores family frequently visits Columbia.

"We love it here. We try to come three or four times a year, and we enjoy it each and every time," Ralph Flores said. "We try to see her (Christine Flores) once a month, so this was a game we could arrange for in December."

Dennis Mollgaard is good friends with George Chapman, a Columbia businessman, and the Chapman family hosted the Flores' for dinner on Friday night.

The two couples were not the only fans wearing Missouri shirts with "LOVE" on the front and the Flores name over a Superman logo with the number 25 on the back. The Chapman family added to the Christine Flores cheering section.

Ralph Flores is co-owner of a lighting company in San Antonio. He met his wife in the business more than 27 years ago.

"I was working at a ceiling fan shop. Those are big in Texas. He was selling the light sets that go on the ceilings, and I go ... 'hmm,'" Connie Flores said with a laugh. "And he never got rid of me since."

After dating for six years, the couple got married. Now, 21 years later, they watched Christine Flores play 22 minutes and score 15 points.

The Flores' never miss a game. If Missouri is not televised, they find coverage online. However, Ralph and Connie Flores do not limit themselves to games at Mizzou Arena.

"Fortunately, they (the Tigers) get to Texas periodically, where some of the Big 12 teams are,"Ralph Flores said.

Ralph and Connie Flores travel to each away game played in Texas. The couple even makes the 7 1/2-hour drive to Oklahoma when the Tigers face Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

The next game the Flores family will see in Mizzou Arena will be the Big 12 Conference home opener for the Tigers against Texas. The family from San Antonio will be wearing gold.

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